Children's Dialects

Discussions on tuition centres/enrichment services that specialise in Chinese.
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fredjasdillon
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Post by fredjasdillon » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:08 pm

phantom wrote:I let my son speak dialect at my parents place. I think it is important to expose them to dialect, not just Chinese and English, when young. Once they get older, it will be very hard to get them to pick up.

No harm knowing to speak more, sometime I feel speaking dialect feel more personal and close to kins


I fully agree to this :D

Emelyn
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Post by Emelyn » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:11 pm

Personally, I would love my kids to pick up our dialects... Hokkien and Cantonese. But no chance.

My dad will speak to them in Mandarin. Else they dont understand.
Same for my PILs.....

My MIL used to say in cantonese "so-and-so you also don't understand ma ma 's language"

Sometimes quite sad that they can't speak any dialects.

BigDevil
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Post by BigDevil » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:22 pm

DW and I spoke Cantonese when we didn't want DD to know what we are saying. Now she can understand and speak a little herself....

daisyt
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Post by daisyt » Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:07 pm

I learnt cantonese when I was a child, watching cantonese drama on video tapes.

My hokkien was very angmoish but improved when I was studying in poly and out to work.

My conclusion is, with the very natural environment surrounding by different dialets group, we would naturally pick up soon. Its a matter of time. :D

My daughter would speak broken piece by piece hokkien but can see some improvement over the years. Slowly lor ....

One day she told me, her senior was lecturing one junior who was late. He said "you thought you very dua (3) pai (4) hur ? come so late ?". I laughed my head off ! Do you all catch the joke ? :shock:

Andaiz
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Post by Andaiz » Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:28 pm

daisyt wrote:IOne day she told me, her senior was lecturing one junior who was late. He said "you thought you very dua (3) pai (4) hur ? come so late ?". I laughed my head off ! Do you all catch the joke ? :shock:


Yes, big naughty instead of "big shot"? This should also go on the thread ....kids say the darnest things!


daisyt
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Post by daisyt » Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:45 pm

Andaiz wrote:
daisyt wrote:IOne day she told me, her senior was lecturing one junior who was late. He said "you thought you very dua (3) pai (4) hur ? come so late ?". I laughed my head off ! Do you all catch the joke ? :shock:


Yes, big naughty instead of "big shot"? This should also go on the thread ....kids say the darnest things!


Correcto !
I told her, please go correct your senior. Its dua (3) bai (2) not dua (3) pai (4). And I started to explain to her the difference. hahaha

sashimi
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Post by sashimi » Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:51 pm

[Editor's note: Topic selected for Portal publication.]

I feel that there is nothing wrong in being the master of just one language; and that while there *are* advantages in being "multi-lingual", IF one is master of none, then there are also disadvantages too.

Increasingly I find that in work, people who have a weak grasp of English, who cannot write to save their lives, hamper productivity and creativity. How can a person innovate if he can't express in complex/abstract/poetic/metaphysical terms what he's trying to invent? I have realized with increasing worry that project documents are often being dumbed down to the point of irrelevance because people don't know how to articulate complex ideas.

Have you ever watched two people with poor English argue a complex issue in English? (eg. it could be a Malay with a Chinese). You will get what I mean.

Coming back to parenthood, have you ever torn your hair in frustration trying to answer an innocent question from your child which involves complex reasoning/words? You will see then how important it is to be able to understand the words of someone who is linguistically more capable.

So anyway, it may be great for international business and this trendy thing called "globalization", but I feel that while many expound on the merits of being multi-lingual, they forget that they are master of no language. This means everything they say is half-baked. :) The fact is: many Singaporeans may be "multi-lingual" but they are certainly NOT multi/LINGUISTS. A truly bilingual person would be one who has mastered two languages, for example.

Face the fact: in Singapore, PRCs laugh at our Chinese, while Americans laugh at our English. What does this tell you?

I make no excuses for the fact that my Mandarin is weak (which I regret a little) - for my English is excellent. Employers continue to underrate this, even as standards of English in Singapore continue to degenerate. And yet, I am always the target of pleas for help in vetting documents, cleaning up language, improving resumes, articulating design ideas, etc. My Mandarin has improved with exposure, I also speak decent Hokkien, and I'm learning Japanese. I'm master of none of these languages, but I have at least mastered English.

My point - if you ask me for my recommendation, it would be that, go ahead and let your child speak/learn as many languages as he wishes, but please ensure she is at least master of one. :)

kiasumam
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Post by kiasumam » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:09 am

Wow, i think it is great to expose your kids to dialects! my boy doesn't speak any dialect, but i have friends whose kids are very fluent. it's very good, after all, develops their language and of course we dont' want our dialects to be extinct!! :celebrate:

kiasimom
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Post by kiasimom » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:46 am

I think it is good to let my children speak dialect. After all, that's our dialect.

I didn't purposely teach them.
My mom always speak to them in dialects with the hope that they will pick up the dialect gradually.

DD is gifted. She learns dialect from the taiwanese drama. She can sing the theme song effortlessly.

DS is not so gifted in language though.
Both DH and I have no objections speaking dialects.

In fact, when I first know DH, he couldn't speak a word of dialect, but I told him that as a Teochew, he should very least be able to speak Hokkien or Teochew.

In order to please me, he took the effort to learn. Although he cannot speak fluenty, at least he is 100% better than before :-)

Cheval
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Post by Cheval » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:58 pm

sashimi wrote:[Editor's note: Topic selected for Portal publication.]

I feel that there is nothing wrong in being the master of just one language; and that while there *are* advantages in being "multi-lingual", IF one is master of none, then there are also disadvantages too.

Increasingly I find that in work, people who have a weak grasp of English, who cannot write to save their lives, hamper productivity and creativity. How can a person innovate if he can't express in complex/abstract/poetic/metaphysical terms what he's trying to invent? I have realized with increasing worry that project documents are often being dumbed down to the point of irrelevance because people don't know how to articulate complex ideas.

Have you ever watched two people with poor English argue a complex issue in English? (eg. it could be a Malay with a Chinese). You will get what I mean.

Coming back to parenthood, have you ever torn your hair in frustration trying to answer an innocent question from your child which involves complex reasoning/words? You will see then how important it is to be able to understand the words of someone who is linguistically more capable.

So anyway, it may be great for international business and this trendy thing called "globalization", but I feel that while many expound on the merits of being multi-lingual, they forget that they are master of no language. This means everything they say is half-baked. :) The fact is: many Singaporeans may be "multi-lingual" but they are certainly NOT multi/LINGUISTS. A truly bilingual person would be one who has mastered two languages, for example.

Face the fact: in Singapore, PRCs laugh at our Chinese, while Americans laugh at our English. What does this tell you?

I make no excuses for the fact that my Mandarin is weak (which I regret a little) - for my English is excellent. Employers continue to underrate this, even as standards of English in Singapore continue to degenerate. And yet, I am always the target of pleas for help in vetting documents, cleaning up language, improving resumes, articulating design ideas, etc. My Mandarin has improved with exposure, I also speak decent Hokkien, and I'm learning Japanese. I'm master of none of these languages, but I have at least mastered English.

My point - if you ask me for my recommendation, it would be that, go ahead and let your child speak/learn as many languages as he wishes, but please ensure she is at least master of one. :)


I agree with on most of your points, especially that one must master 1 language to be able to articulate and think in depth. I would add that this is also a condition that one masters the 2nd or even the 3rd language. The reason is simple: one who is good in one language, when starting to learn a new one, feels the sheer need in express him/herself with the same depth. This is why the last generation of Chinese scholars who went to the West to study (before 1950s) were excellent in foreign languages they learned. This is also why nowadays, I find Malaysian Chinese often speak English more correctly than local Singaporeans (sorry to say this, guys) because they have solid grasp of Chinese (and they learn grammar).

As to the "negative" effect of learning several languages at the same time, as seen in many Singaporeans, my solution is not to allow my kids to mix languages. I tell them clearly:"That you speak English/Chinese in a mixed way means you are good in none!" It's kind of cheating ourselves to switch to a different language when we don't know the right words/expressions. Another way is to teach them different other ways to express a same idea and correct the minor errors -- of course after they finish up -- as much as I can. Now they are used to ask me the right words when they don't know.

Being from the North of China, where there are no dialects in proper sense but only difference in some expressions, I have always regreted not to be able to speak any dialect. I stayed one year in HK but my Cantonese stops at counting up 10 and a few isolated words like "thank you/please". We do speak an odd "dialect" at home: French. I have studied/worked in France for many years and my kids have been with me for 2 years and 4 months there, for P1/P2 and P3/P4, respectively. In the end, they have a sound understanding of French. I find multilingualism does help. After all, in a big part, acquiring new knowledge is about making connection with that already acquired. Once my son told me that his English teacher asked the class who knew the word "marionnette". My son was the only one, because it's from French. For his Chinese, although usually I try to explain them new words all in Chinese, sometimes it is still hard for him to understand fully. In this case, I just tell him the equal expressions in English or French and it is more effective.

In summary, (1) mastering 1 language is a must (2) when learning several languages, one should avoid mixing them up.

Just my 2 cents. :D

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